Wednesday, August 17, 2016


Camp Fire with Polish Sausages
You'd expect a lot of learning to go on at a week-long camp with daily English lessons and Bible study sessions. Last month we helped out with such a camp in Poland, where Keith's brother Ted and sister-in-law Bev work with a new Polish Baptist church. This local church is very focused on evangelism and had organized the camp as an opportunity to share the Gospel. A group of American volunteers, also very focused on evangelism, also came to help. They learned some unexpected things--and so did we.
Lesson A:  a very sweet American woman had never, to her knowledge, met anyone with autism. There were two young people at the camp with different forms of autism. During the course of the week, this lady learned more about the autism spectrum and became more comfortable interacting with these folks. I would love to know how God is going to use these lessons!
Lesson B:  Bev and I were to teach the beginners' group. After the first day, we split the group. Bev took the beginners who could actually speak English. The other three campers went with me and Monika, a young Polish woman fluent in English. Began with sentences like "I am Polish"  and progressed to "She drives a truck underwater" and "Monika fishes for pigs." Silliness proved to be a good learning tool.
Lesson C:  I didn't grow up traditional Baptist, and I am not a typical American. After a bit, I wondered whether this camp program and I were a good fit. But God had called me there for a reason. I was able to pass on ways of meeting God with my Bible study group which are not typically Baptist. My experiences with Romany believers, with illiterate believers, with Mennonites and Pentecostals and Roman Catholics all enriched our time together. At the end, a member of our group wrote, "I have had great advantage from talking with you." She had not prayed the sinner's prayer, but she left with a firm affirmation that she, too, had been adopted into God's family. 

Fellow Camper in Keith's Hat
Lesson D:  Dancing isn't just for squares. One evening Bev taught us how to dance like they do in Tennessee, where she and the volunteers are from. We danced the night away in groups of 1, 2, 3, 4, and 6. Great Blue Grass music; great fun!

Lesson E:  Every night one or two people shared their faith story. Powerful evangelism. 
Lesson F:  Finish strong. 

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